I'm not going to lie to you folks - last night's event was pretty irrelevant. Was the main card action-packed? Sure. Has the UFC decided to give a title shot to the winner of the main event? Yeah. Was the co-main event battering worthy of any pay-per-view? Probably. But it was the third UFC event in eight days and it seems like everyone is burned out. Fans. Media. Even me. I can barely muster the effort to write this post, something I generally really enjoy. Luckily we get a few weeks off after this, and I'm going on vacation! Before that though, I'll drone my way through this abbreviated version of the real winners and losers from UFC Fight Night 28.
Glover Teixeira - I touched on my issues with his win in my post-fight analysis post, but a win's a win. Five in a row means a lot at LHW, and it has seemingly earned him a title shot. Do I think he can beat Jon Jones or Alexander Gustafsson? No. Do I think it's good that there's a new contender for fans to get behind, as opposed to a re-hashed or tarnished guy at 205? Sure. In a perfect world, I'd like to see him knock off someone ranked higher than number 9 (Rampage) to get a title shot. But when you have a thoroughly dominant champion, you have to improvise.
Ronaldo Souza -That was about the best fight Jacare could have asked for. He finished a respected opponent in Yushin Okami quicker than anyone ever has before, in the co-main event of a card. And he did it with his hands, which wasn't something many expected. Jacare is now established as a top-flight contender at middleweight, and it'll be really interesting to see who he faces next.
Piotr Hallmann - I was very impressed with Hallmann's resilience and his skills. He got caught with a big body kick early and that was a setback. But he didn't allow himself to be dominated, and his standup really wasn't that bad in the first round. In the second, he stuffed the takedowns of a bigger opponent, ended up on top, and submitted a good grappler with a move that most guys can't pull off. There's no way you can hate on that.
Tor Troeng - Yes, he lost. Rafael Natal dropped him in each of the first two rounds and he barely scraped out one round on one scorecard. I don't care though. Like Erik Koch at UFC 164, there are a few guys that can lose but elevate themselves in the process and that's exactly what Troeng did. He went at it with a black belt on the ground and more than held his own, hitting nice reversals and even threatening with submissions. Again, I know he lost the fight in lopsided fashion. But he impressed me while he did it, so that's why he's here.
Ryan Bader - He did knock Teixeira down, I'll give him that. But he got finished yet again, and fans aren't looking at him as a top-flight light heavyweight anymore. That's really the bottom line.
Yushin Okami - He's in a similar position as Bader, but he's been around longer. Okami's been to the top and had his title shot, and he's still clearly capable of taking out a lot of middleweights. But it seems that his time has passed as a top contender if he's getting knocked out by Jacare in three minutes.
Jussier Formiga - The former top guy in the division is now 1-2 in the UFC and he's been finished in both losses. That's not good. He's nowhere near the top of his weight class now, and that division just happens to be the thinnest in the organization. I still believe he's a top-10 talent, but that doesn't really mean a lot at flyweight. This loss was a huge, huge setback.
The UFC in Brazil - I don't like drawing broad conclusions based on one example, but this card has to be considered a major dud. They didn't come close to selling out, to the point that they tried to move the event to a smaller arena leading up to the show. The crowd was vocal, but it was obvious that the building wasn't full. Did the UFC overestimate their pull in the country? Are there only a select few guys they can have on top that will draw a crowd? I don't know. But tonight was a big step back in the UFC's expansion into Brazil. I know the damage control police will shoot that idea down, but I'm not sure how it could be painted any other way.